Can anyone explain me in how many ways can we install the applications in Linux os.

And which is the better way to install ?


4 Answers 4


There are many possible ways:

  • The usual way is simply using the package management of your distribution
  • You can always fetch the source and compile by yourself
  • You can use Zero_Install
  • You can use nix
  • There are certainly even more esoteric ways. (Feel free to add them.)

Some languages or software distributions bring there own management with them:

  • Ruby uses gem
  • Java uses web start
  • Haskell uses cabal
  • Python uses pip
  • TeX Live uses tlmgr
  • And there are probably more like them. (Feel free to add more.)

But usually you will just stick with whatever comes with your distribution:

  • Debian/Ubuntu uses dpkg and apt-get
  • Fedora/Suse/etc use rpm and usually some frontend (like yum and zypper) on top of it
  • ArchLinux is using pacman
  • Gentoo is using emerge
  • NixOS is using nix
  • and other distributions might use even other systems. (Feel free to add more.)

You can install application with anything, that knows how to copy files :)

The best way is to use packages provided by your Linux distribution with installation tool provided by your Linux distribution.



  • OS packaging, owned by the System Administrator. Typically GNU autoconf or similar (maybe just an archive for a proprietary app), wrapped in RPM or DPKG to standardize their meta data, fetched with tools like apt or yum
  • Unpackaged apps, owned by the System Administrator. These aren't versioned, can't be uninstalled or queried, etc. Either the SA has been too busy, doesn't know, or doesn't care how to package these apps.
  • Programming specific distribution tools, like pip, npm, ruby gems, etc. These are owned by developers.

This is an example for Debian (and Debian-based systems like Ubuntu) - as you haven't given the Linux OS you want this for.

If you are on such a system, you can use:

sudo apt-get install {package name}

Example, if you want to install gcc, you will do this:

sudo apt-get install gcc

And if you want to update the OS, you may want to do this:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

Check out this link (for Ubuntu).

  • the example you give is for Debian and for Debian derivatives of which Ubuntu is only one. so your use of the word "only" is a bit misleading
    – umläute
    Dec 12, 2013 at 12:43
  • Sorry, my understanding of Linux is not that good, but I know that is one way you can do it for Ubuntu which is a Linux base platform.
    – Kevdog777
    Dec 12, 2013 at 15:05

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